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Old 10-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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1966 24' Tradewind
Fall River , Massachusetts
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Need help with electrical wiring

I have a 1966 tradewind that I have been chipping away at for a couple of years. I am at the wiring phase and started tackling the 110v system.

A while back I did some research on a progressive dynamics 4300 converter that seemed to meet my needs. It was a while ago so I am wondering how technology has changed and if it's still a good choice.

So I started running 12/2 wire and have the following configuration:

Circuit 1: 4 standard outlets (1 for small fridge, 1 for tv/radio, 1 in bunk area, 1 in general area)

Circuit 2: 3 standard outlets (1 in bathroom, 1 in bunk area and 1 in kitchen)

Circuit 3: microwave, two plugs in front dinette area


Couple of questions, is this an ok setup? The converter I am looking at has 5 breakers? Will this current setup work considering I still have an ac, water heater, water pump, vent fan, kitchen fan and heater ? I am not sure if all these need a circuit since the heater and water heater are propane/electric (suburban and atwood water heater )

How should I run it to avoid tripping the breaker? Thank you all.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
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Unless the water heater is electric it won't need 120 volt power. The water pump, heater (furnace), oven vent and roof vents are all 12 volts, along with the interior lighting. The water heater may need 12 volts as well as the refer, depending on the model.
Your 120 volt circuit layout should be fine.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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Sairaf, you may want to think about at least 1 GFCI circuits for the bath and sink area near the wet areas or exterior outlets. GFCI breakers are way more expensive. And required by code, in homes.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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My '87 Excella has: 1 x 30-amp main breaker, 2 x 20 amp breakers (one of which is dedicated to the air conditioner/microwave, depending on the A-B selector switch) and 1 x 20-amp GFI breaker. The refrigerator is not on the GFI circuit, but the bathroom, bedroom, galley and living room are). Instead of a converter/charger, I'm using a Xantrex inverter/charger.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Your 120v circuit plan looks fine. You probably don't need that many outlets or circuits, but better to have too many than not enough. For gfci protected outlets I would just use a gfci receptacle for the kitchen area, the bathroom and the exterior outlet. Gfci receptacles are much cheaper than gfci circuit breakers.

I used a PD 9245 converter and it has worked well for me. While you are wiring in outlets, I would put lots of 12v outlet throughout the camper also. They come in handy for charging cell phones, lap tops and powering tv, lighting and other 12v appliances. I would also install plenty of LED lighting. I have bought LEDs directly from China and they are real cheap and have worked well.

Dan
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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Your 120v circuit plan looks fine. You probably don't need that many outlets or circuits, but better to have too many than not enough. For gfci protected outlets I would just use a gfci receptacle for the kitchen area, the bathroom and the exterior outlet. Gfci receptacles are much cheaper than gfci circuit breakers.
Dan
The current type of receptacles used in trailers are *NOT* the same as household types. For one thing, they do not mount in a box and have a cover plate with a single centered screw. Thus, the only way to have GFI protection is to use a GFI breaker in the main panel.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:15 AM   #7
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So it was all making sense until I read the last post about the outlets not being the same as standard house outlets. I had always assumed they were and I could by standard plugs or GFCI outlets.

What are the differences and where do I purchase trailer compatible plugs for the 120v system.

The GFCI circuit makes sense. Does the GFCI plugs hae to be on a dedicated circuit or can they be on a circuit with non GCFIs?
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
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Sairaf,

While current RVs typically use a special RV type 110 volt outlet, most vintage RVs use a standard household outlet installed in an outlet box. The biggest issue you'll run into with standard household outlets is the outlet box. You cannot use a standard depth outlet box as the space inside the wall between the inner skin and outer skin is too narrow. You probably have about 1 3/4" to 2" of space. The big box stores do sell a shallow outlet box intended for basement walls that are not framed with a normal 2x4, and they will work ok for any non-GFCI outlet. Vintage Trailer Supply also sells an outlet box intended for use in a vintage trailer. While a GCFI outlet can be squeezed into one of these, it's a tight fit. Especially with 12/2 wire. I would suggest ordering one and see if it meets your needs. Then you can order more if you want to.

Shallow Phenolic Outlet Box

A GFCI breaker will make all the outlets on that circuit GFCI protected.

A GFCI outlet will protect itself, and any downstream outlets wired to the LOAD screws on the outlet. Any outlets between the breaker and the GFCI outlet (LINE screws on the outlet) will not be protected.

You should never install a GFCI outlet on a GFCI breaker protected circuit, or downstream from another GFCI outlet.

You can have more than one GFCI outlet on the same circuit, provided that neither of them is connected to the other GFCI outlet using the LOAD screws. I'm not sure building electric codes allow that configuration any longer though.

You should put the A/C on a separate 20 amp circuit.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:18 AM   #9
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I did a google search and found these RV outlets in case you want to see what they look like:

RV PARTS OUTLET

Chris
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
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I did a google search and found these RV outlets in case you want to see what they look like:

RV PARTS OUTLET

Chris
Yes, those are the kind that are used in RV's - I had the same ones in my '94 LY motorhome and in my current trailer, '87 Excella.

What I'm not certain about is what the backs of these look like and if you can simply wire one in or if these are somehow clipped to the wire such that they make contact with sharp prongs that just cut into the insulation.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno
Sairaf,

You should never install a GFCI outlet on a GFCI breaker protected circuit, or downstream from another GFCI outlet.

You can have more than one GFCI outlet on the same circuit, provided that neither of them is connected to the other GFCI outlet using the LOAD screws. I'm not sure building electric codes allow that configuration any longer though.

You should put the A/C on a separate 20 amp circuit.
I realize a GFCI outlet on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker is completely unnecessary, but why should one NEVER be installed in such a circumstance?
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
The current type of receptacles used in trailers are *NOT* the same as household types. For one thing, they do not mount in a box and have a cover plate with a single centered screw. Thus, the only way to have GFI protection is to use a GFI breaker in the main panel.
The above statement may be true for current trailers, but I replaced all the outlets in my 66 Tradewind and residential outlets worked just fine (see photos below). I suppose you could use rv receptacles but why, at $17.70 each, I would use residential receptacles that you can buy at your neighborhood Lowes or hardware store. I recommend using residential outlets unless they will not work in your application.

Dan
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #13
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I realize a GFCI outlet on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker is completely unnecessary, but why should one NEVER be installed in such a circumstance?

I am a home inspector. I inspected a home once where I tripped the gfci receptacle and could not get it to reset. The reason that it would not reset was because another gfci protected receptacle was feeding it and it also tripped. You can not reset a gfci protected receptacle unless it has power going to it. So in the case where I tripped the downstream gfci receptacle and it tripped both gfci receptacles, I had to find and reset the first gfci receptacle before I could reset the second gfci receptacle.

As I get older I have found that more and more famous sayings are really valid. In this case "if it is not necessary to change then it is necessary not to change". Or if you need a gfci outlet then use one, but not two. Also, why spend $15 on the second gfci outlet when a $1 receptacle will work and work much better.

Dan
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:50 AM   #14
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Perhaps "never" is too strong a word here. Some building codes specifically state that you should not do this, while others do not. Multiple GFCI protectors on the same circuit will tend to interfere with each other and may trip when there really isn't a problem. Then when one does trip, resetting it can cause the other one to trip, and you end up in a viscous cycle of resetting one GFCI, which causes the other one to trip, so you reset it, causing the other one to trip, etc, etc... I have experienced this in two separate instances where a second GCFI outlet was installed downstream from another GFCI outlet. Removing the downstream GFCI outlet resolved the issue, and the outlets were still GFCI protected by the first outlet in the circuit.
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